Monday, December 5, 2011

Nursing in Public Equivalent to Urinating in Public?!

I was trying to decide what to write my blog post on today, when I came across THIS post by The Gnome's Mom. I was mortified by the comparison of nursing in public - even when nursing an INFANT - is considered by Savannah Guthrie and Star Jones to be equivalent to urinating in public! What!? In case you missed it, you can see the video HERE as well as in the video embedded in TGM's post. Her post includes a transcript as well.

First, I nursed in public when it was necessary. If I could find a private place to nurse, for my own comfort, I did it. However, that isn't always possible. Second, for someone to say that you should just "nurse in the bathroom" is ridiculous! A lot of public restrooms don't even have a changing table, let alone a place to sit down so you can nurse! This mother was on a bus. She didn't have a choice of where/when to nurse. Her baby was hungry, so she fed him. (You can read the original article HERE) Third, it's a sad thing to say about our society when the breast has become so oversexualized that it is impossible for people to see them as anything other than sexual playthings. For those who don't know: Humans are mammals. Mammals feed their babies milk from mammary glads. In humans the mammary glands are our breasts. Simple enough, right?

The state of Rhode Island has recently placed a ban on hospitals giving out formula sample packs immediately after birth. Why? The state has the lowest rate of breastfeeding attempts in the U.S. and they want that to change. The state medical board realizes the benefits of breastfeeding are worth the extra effort to educate new mothers about how to nurse and give them the support they need to succeed. If more states were like RI, Ms. Moon wouldn't have had the problem of an ignorant bus driver. The bus driver would have known that she was giving her baby the perfect food for him, tailored to his needs, and left her alone!

I understand that not everyone can breastfeed. In fact, I have a very dear friend who had tried desperately to breastfeed her son and couldn't. She ended up getting donor milk so he could continue to get breast milk instead of formula. Sadly, I know too many who choose to not even attempt it. Each ounce of breast milk is packed with antibodies and stem cells that are beneficial to baby. So, even attempting for a day is better than none at all! That is where the state of RI is coming from. If mom can't continue with breastfeeding, has supply or latch issues, the hospital WILL give them formula. And, really, breastfeeding isn't hard to *try*. Plus, it's FREE! But with attitudes like those of Star Jones and Savannah Guthrie, it's no wonder women don't even want to try. 

What is your opinion? Is it wrong to nurse in public?

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